Posts Tagged ‘tribal

12
Jul
14

ObamaCare: Saving Lives In So Many Ways

ObamaCares

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Valerie Bauman: Federal Money Adds 24 New Medical Residencies In Washington State’s Most Doctor-Starved Regions

As of this year, 24 new primary care residency spots will have been created in Washington through a five-year federal program dedicated to getting doctors to regions that need it most. The latest influx of federal money is $6.3 million, reported earlier this week, more than the combined $2.55 million that the program provided for Washington residencies between 2011-2013. Each new residency position is the equivalent of a three-year, guaranteed residency spot for one new doctor. It’s never been more important for Washington to grow its pipeline of new doctors, particularly in underserved urban and rural areas. The state’s projected doctor shortage has Washington State University considering opening its own medical school in Spokane.

It is unique because it partners medical residents with community health clinics that typically work with low-income or underserved populations. It benefits the resident by giving a new doctor real world experience, and helps communities by getting more doctors where they are needed most. The program was created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, and brought the first round of new residency spots to Washington in 2011. Initially, Yakima and Ellensburg received the funding for residents, but as more money has come in through the program, it’s been expanded to Tacoma, Spokane and to the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority.

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16
Jun
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day – Pete Souza: “The President shows off his dance moves as he and the First Lady waited backstage during an intermission of daughter Sasha’s dance recital at Strathmore Arts Center in North Bethesda, Maryland.” June 16, 2013

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Today

10:0 am PT: President Obama departs Palm Springs

5:30 pm ET: Arrives White House

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The Week Ahead

Tuesday: President Obama will travel to TechShop Pittsburgh to deliver remarks on the economy. Following this, he will travel to New York City to attend the DNC LGBT Gala and take part in another DNC Event.

Wednesday: The President will host the first ever White House Maker Faire and meet with students, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens who are using new tools and techniques to launch new businesses, learn vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and fuel the renaissance in American manufacturing.

Thursday: The President will award Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

Friday: The President will meet with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand.

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Paul Krugman: Yes He Could – Health Care And Climate: President Obama’s Big Deals

You should judge leaders by their achievements, not their press, and in terms of policy substance Mr. Obama is having a seriously good year. In fact, there’s a very good chance that 2014 will go down in the record books as one of those years when America took a major turn in the right direction. First, health reform is now a reality — and despite a shambolic start, it’s looking like a big success story. Remember how nobody was going to sign up? First-year enrollments came in above projections. Remember how people who signed up weren’t actually going to pay their premiums? The vast majority have.

Then there’s climate policy. The Obama administration’s new rules on power plants won’t be enough in themselves to save the planet, but they’re a real start — and are by far the most important environmental initiative since the Clean Air Act….Put it all together, and Mr. Obama is looking like a very consequential president indeed.

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Colin H. Kahl: No, Obama Didn’t Lose Iraq: What The President’s Critics Get Wrong

As the senior Pentagon official responsible for Iraq policy during the first three years of the Obama administration, I had a front-row seat for the internal deliberations over how to end the war. Through the first half of 2011, there was a vigorous debate within the administration about whether U.S. forces should remain in Iraq beyond December, and if so, in what numbers and with what missions. Ultimately, at great political risk, President Obama approved negotiations with the Iraqi government to allow a force of around 5,000 American troops to stay in Iraq to provide counterterrorism support and air cover and to train the Iraqi army. But, as commander in chief, he was unwilling to strand U.S. forces in a hostile, anti-American environment without the legal protections and immunities required to ensure soldiers didn’t end up in Iraqi jails. These protections, which are common in nearly every country where U.S. forces operate, were guaranteed under the 2008 status of forces agreement negotiated by the Bush administration; Obama simply demanded that they continue under any follow-on accord. Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, told

U.S. negotiators that he was willing to sign an executive memorandum of understanding that included these legal protections. But for any agreement to be binding under the Iraqi constitution, it had to be approved by the Iraqi parliament. This was the judgment of every senior administration lawyer and Maliki’s own legal adviser, and no senior U.S. military commander made the case that we should leave forces behind without these protections. Even Sen. John McCain, perhaps the administration’s harshest Iraq critic, admitted in a December 2011 speech discussing the withdrawal that the president’s demand for binding legal immunities “was a matter of vital importance.” Moreover, because the 2008 security agreement had been approved by the Iraqi parliament, it seemed both unrealistic and politically unsustainable to apply a lower standard this time around. Unfortunately, Iraqi domestic politics made it impossible to reach a deal. Iraqi public opinion surveys consistently showed that the U.S. military presence was deeply unpopular

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Matthew Lee: Kerry: US Open To Cooperation With Iran On Chaos In Iraq

Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists. Kerry also says U.S. drone strikes “may well” be an option.

In a Monday interview with Yahoo! News, Kerry said Washington is “open to discussions” with Tehran if the Iranians can help end the violence and restore confidence in the Iraqi government. Asked about possible military cooperation with Iran, Kerry said he would “not rule out anything that would be constructive.” However, he stressed that any contacts with Iran would move “step-by-step.”

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Soumya Karlamangla: Uninsured Students Drop By 60% At Cal State Campuses

New data show the number of students without health insurance on California State University campuses dropped by 60% after health insurance enrollment, defying concerns that not enough young people would sign up for health insurance. According to a poll released Thursday, at the 15 largest CSU campuses, between 25% and 30% of students were uninsured before enrollment began, and 10% were uninsured after. The drop accounts for 60,000 students who became insured, and illustrates the late surge of young people who signed up for policies. “These students proved that the folks we’re calling young invincibles do want health insurance,” said William Covino, president of Cal State Los Angeles. Walter Zelman, chair of the Cal State L.A. Public Health Department and director of the project, said that he believes the 10% uninsured rate among the students is “virtually unheard of in California.”

He pointed out that the 60% drop in the number of uninsured CSU students is vastly higher than the 26% reduction in the number of uninsured nationwide that was reported by a Gallup poll this month. CSU students were perhaps more likely to sign-up for insurance than expected because many are low-income and therefore qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health program that was expanded under the federal health care law. Natasha Buranasombati, 23, signed up for an insurance plan through Covered California. A recent Cal State L.A. grad, she’d been off her parents’ insurance for a few years, and couldn’t afford a plan on the individual market. She now pays $117 a month for her new plan. “The issue is not invincibility, it’s affordability,” Zelman said.

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Bloomberg: Taliban Fighters Warn Foreign Investors To Leave Pakistan

Pakistan’s military began a full-scale operation in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan, prompting insurgents to warn foreign investors, airlines and multinational companies to leave the country. “We’re in a state of war,” Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, said in a statement today. “Foreign investors, airlines, and multinational companies should cut off business with Pakistan immediately and leave the country or else they will be responsible for their damage themselves.”

The army said yesterday it would target local and foreign terrorists in North Waziristan, a tribal region near the Afghan border the U.S. has called the “epicenter” of terrorism. The operation, long sought by the U.S., comes a week after militants attacked the country’s biggest international airport. As Islamic militants capture cities in Iraq and the U.S. draws up plans to withdraw from Afghanistan, public opinion in Pakistan is shifting in favor of stronger action against fighters who were previously seen locally as more of a threat to America’s interests. The Taliban wants to impose its version of Islamic Shariah law in Pakistan, which includes a ban on music and stricter rules for women.

More here

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LA Times: Actors, Musicians Are Big Beneficiaries Of Obamacare

In 2011, actress Lynda Berg didn’t make enough money to qualify for health insurance through her union. And, on her own, she had trouble finding a plan she could afford because she’s a survivor of breast cancer, considered a preexisting condition. The uncertainty of not having a health plan was stressful and at times expensive, she recalls. A few years ago she fell and broke her hand and elbow and ended up paying $4,000 for her medical care. But all that has changed for Berg, 59. In March, she went online, signed up for a policy through Covered California, the state’s new health insurance marketplace set up under the Affordable Care Act, and now is getting medical care. More than most people, workers in the area’s vast entertainment industry are poised to benefit from the federal health law.

“When people think Hollywood, they think George Clooney and Meryl Streep, but that’s not the average person in this town,” said Dan Kitowski, director of health services for the western region of the Actors Fund, a national nonprofit that does Affordable Care Act outreach. Actress Berg, who lives in Beverlywood, now pays a premium of $145 a month for her Blue Shield of California plan. She’s using her coverage to get prescriptions for $5 a month that she was paying more than $100 to fill before. She plans to head to the doctor’s office soon for a checkup she’s been putting off. “It’s a tremendous blessing to actors and anyone who doesn’t have insurance,” she said. “Even if you get a plan with a large deductible, at least you have that safety net … and you’re not in debt for the next seven years.”

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Native News Online.Net: $70 Million Available To Improve Indian Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday $70 million in funding available during Fiscal Year 2014 to tribal communities across the nation to improve Indian housing conditions and stimulate community development for low and moderate income families. The grants are available through HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program for a wide variety of community development and affordable housing activities. Read HUD’s ICDBG Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The purpose of the ICDBG program is to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities, including decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities. Recipients can use the funding to support rehabbing or building new housing or to buy land for housing. They can use it toward infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer facilities. Recipients can also spur economic development including commercial and industrial projects.

This has included community and health centers, energy conservation projects, or new businesses such as shopping centers, manufacturing plants, restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations. “Housing and infrastructure needs in Indian Country are severe and widespread, and far exceed what has been provided to tribes and their designated housing entities. This funding will go directly to the Native American and Alaska Native communities that are working hard every day to improve housing for the families who need it most,” said Rodger Boyd, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Native American Programs. “HUD invests in people and neighborhoods across the country that promote development at the local level by those local leaders who know their communities best. This year we are committed to not only expanding housing opportunities but also helping to ensure healthier environments for those affected by mold.”

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Eliza Griswold: Can General Linder’s Special Operations Forces Stop the Next Terrorist Threat?

On a searing morning this spring, Brig. Gen. James B. Linder leaned against the red-webbing seats of a C-130 as it flew over the Sahara. On his camouflaged knee, he balanced two dog-eared Moleskine notebooks and a map of Africa. Linder, who is in his early 50s, commands the United States Special Operations forces in Africa. He was on his way to visit a detachment of 12 Army Green Berets training with African troops to fight Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Niger. Through the plane’s scratched plexiglass portholes, dunes crested like waves in an ocean of sand, and hot blasts of wind buffeted the fuselage.

An hour’s flight to the south, his team of Special Forces was deployed along the Nigerian border, where the militant group Boko Haram was targeting children in its bid to establish an Islamic state. “My job is to look at Africa and see where the threat to the United States is,” Linder said as he unfolded his map and traced circles around the territories where he knew extremist groups were operating. “I see Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Libyan problem set, Al Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, Benghazi and Darna.”

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NYT: Starbucks To Provide Free College Education To Thousands of Workers

Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday. The program is open to any of the company’s 135,000 United States employees, provided they work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition; for those with fewer credits it will pay part of the cost, but even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid. Starbucks is, in effect, inviting its workers, from the day they join the company, to study whatever they like, and then leave whenever they like — knowing that many of them, degrees in hand, will leave for better-paying jobs.

In a low-wage service industry, Starbucks has for decades been unusual, doing things such as providing health insurance, even for part-timers, and giving its employees stock options. (Like other food and drink chains, it has also been accused of using improper tactics in fighting unionization drives.) Whether in spite of those perks or because of them, the company has been highly successful; its stock, which closed Friday at $74.69, has grown in value more than a hundredfold since it went public in 1992. The president of Arizona State, Michael M. Crow, something of an evangelist for online education, was scheduled to join Mr. Schultz and Arne Duncan, the education secretary, to announce the program on Monday in Manhattan. Arizona State has one of the largest online degree programs in the United States, with 11,000 students and 40 undergraduate majors, and one of the most highly regarded.

More here

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Stephen Michaelson: Robert Reich’s Facebook Post: 100 Years Old, And Spot-On About Obama

I’m here in Florida visiting my father, Ed Reich, who, at the young age of 100 and a half, just came up with one of the most incisive assessments I’ve heard of what’s happened in Iraq: “George W. Bush and the crooks he hired are responsible for this. If they hadn’t lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction we wouldn’t have lost nearly 5,000 American lives and god knows how many Iraqi lives, and stirred up this hornet’s nest. Obama has spent his entire administration cleaning up Bush’s shit, like someone with a giant pooper scooper.” Dad has lived during the administrations of 17 presidents. “Bush was the worst,” he says. “Reagan the second worst.”

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TPM: SCOTUS Rules On ‘Straw Purchaser’ Gun Law

The Supreme Court says federal law does not allow a “straw” purchaser to buy a gun for someone else, even if both are legally eligible to own firearms. The justices ruled Monday that the federal background check law applied to Bruce James Abramski, Jr. when he bought a Glock 19 handgun in Collinsville, Virginia, in 2009 and later transferred it to his uncle in Easton, Pennsylvania. Federal officials brought charges against Abramski because he assured the Virginia dealer he was the actual buyer of the weapon, even though he had already agreed to buy the gun for his uncle.

More here

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Smile Of The Day: A dad twerking because he’s cancer free

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On This Day

Sen. Barack Obama greets supporters a campaign rally at Kettering High School June 16, 2008 in Flint, Michigan

Sen. Barack Obama, former U.S. vice president Al Gore and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appear on stage together after Gore spoke endorsing him at a rally at Joe Louis Arena June 16, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan

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President Obama picks up a fly he swatted during an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood in the East Room of the White House, June 16, 2009 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama gives a fist-bump to personal aide Reggie Love in the Oval Office of the White House on June 16, 2009. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is at left (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama arrives to speak the American Nurses Association House of Delegates June 16, 2010 in Washington, DC.

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President Obama walks with his daughter Malia as they follow First Lady Michelle Obama into the Strathmore Music Center June 16, 2013 in Bethesda, Maryland. The Obama’s were attending a dance performance with where their daughter Sasha was performing.

13
Jun
14

“The Chief of all Chiefs is here”

President Obama interacts with children while flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II during the Cannon Ball Flag Day celebration at the Cannon Ball Powwow Grounds on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota

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More in the next post

13
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama looks at the view from the InterContinental Yokohama Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan, Nov. 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern):

10:50: President Obama and VP Biden meet with faith leaders

1:30: Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks at event titled “Improving Veterans’ College Graduation Rates” hosted by Google at the Army and Navy Club in Washington

2:15: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:30: President Obama delivers remarks at the 2013 Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior

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A small group of faith leaders will meet with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and top staffers Valerie Jarrett, Cecilia Munoz and Melissa Rogers today to map strategy to push the GOP-controlled House to pass immigration reform. According to a White House official, here are the faith leaders who will be at the meeting:

· Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals

· Eusebio Elizondo, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Seattle

· Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland Church, Orlando, FL

· Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Korean Churches for Community Development, Los Angeles, CA

· Mike McClenahan, Senior Pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach, CA

· Russell Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Nashville, TN

· Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition

· Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners

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Igor Volsky: ‘If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It’ Is Easier Said Than Done

Flooded with news stories and constituent calls from Americans losing their health care plans, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed seemingly easy solutions that they say will allow everyone keep their existing insurance coverage. On Friday, the House will consider such a measure, spearheaded by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Several Democrats in vulnerable districts are expected to back the effort. On Tuesday, even Bill Clinton threw his support behind the change and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she would vote for similar legislation being introduced in the Senate by Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

But lawmakers who have fought for years to enact a law that expands health care coverage to sick people, overcame almost insurmountable legislative hurdles, and survived a constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court, should be wary of supporting measures that take away key consumer protections from millions of Americans and increase costs for millions more.

The truth is, letting everyone in the individual health care market maintain their existing coverage would have real consequences for health care reform.

More here

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Jim Stuart: What’s Trying to Emerge?

I think a successful ACA is trying to emerge, through the fog of political war. Do not think the GOP can reverse the process; the policy fundamentals are in place. For me the question is not whether a working ACA will emerge, but when this will be recognized….

…. I, too, worry about the website, the slow enrollment uptake, the GOP onslaught, and their and the MSM’s total assurance that the ACA is and will remain an unmitigated catastrophe. But the facts on the ground tell me that major seeds have been planted, that they will not be dug up, that they will, now planted, grow naturally into a splendid harvest that will not be prevented.

Republicans are making a fatal and permanent mistake in seeking all-out to destroy the ACA with no attempt to replace it with something that could address the same issue of the uninsured.

…. So what is trying to emerge from the fog of political war? A gold mine of help to the poor and the middle class, and to the country’s economy by helping to tame healthcare costs; and this gold mine is the much maligned ACA!

Full post here

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Steve Benen: The Keep Your Health Plan Act

Over the weekend, The Hill published an interesting piece suggesting congressional Republicans, who had been fully committed to repealing the entirety of the Affordable Care Act since its inception, have “shifted their strategy.”

The “pivot,” the article said, was from repealing the health care to law to helping “fix” it through something called the Keep Your Health Plan Act, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). “The GOP,” The Hill reported, “wants to rebuild its political capital and public credibility by solving ObamaCare’s implementation problems.”

With respect to The Hill, whose reporting I rely on frequently, the piece was a little naive. To think that House Republicans, a month after shutting down the government over a health care law they hate with blinding rage, suddenly want to improve the Affordable Care Act is hard to take seriously. Upton’s Keep Your Health Plan Act is about a partisan game to undermine the law and put Democrats on the defensive – and little else.

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Igor Volsky: 6 Reasons Why Obamacare Enrollment Is Going Better Than You Think

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that between 40,000 and 50,000 uninsured Americans signed up for health care coverage in the 36 states where the federal government is running the Obamacare exchanges. But the initial estimate doesn’t tell the whole story about how many people are connecting to coverage. Here is what you need to know about the enrollment figures

More than 500,000 have signed up for insurance overall. Avalere Health, a consulting firm tracking sign-ups, estimates that at least 440,000 people have signed up for Medicaid and another 49,000 people enrolled in coverage in 12 states and the District of Columbia that are operating their own exchanges. Significantly, that state number don’t appear to include enrollment from California, Massachusetts, or Oregon. Thus, all told, more than 529,000 have enrolled in coverage.

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Sahil Kapur: Red State Dems Push Reforms That Would Damage Obamacare

A trio of face-saving changes to Obamacare proposed by conservative Democratic senators would do significant damage to the law, according to health policy experts.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) wants to make sure people can keep their insurance plans even if they fail to meet basic benefit standards under Obamacare. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) wants to delay by one year the tax penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate. And ten Democrats want to give people more time to enroll on the exchanges.

“I think each of these [proposals] would be significantly disruptive to the law’s goals,” said Tim Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University and leading expert on Obamacare.

More here

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Sara Kliff: One In 10 Veterans Lacks Health Insurance. Obamacare Could Change That

The Veterans Administration operates the country’s largest health-care system. It has more than 1,700 hospitals and clinics across the country. Doctors there had about 50 million appointments with veterans in 2012. This sweeping system does not, however, cover everyone: One in 10 veterans lacks health insurance.

Haley and Kenney wrote a follow-up paper in March 2013, looking at what the Affordable Care Act would mean for uninsured veterans. They estimate that about 40 percent of uninsured veterans earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line (about $15,000 for an individual) and would therefore qualify for Medicaid, if their state had opted to expand the program.

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Eugene Robinson: The Country Is Doing Better Than You Think

The economy is growing much more quickly than expected. Inflation is basically nonexistent. The federal budget deficit has been slashed dramatically. The stock market is reaching all-time highs. One of our long-running wars is over, and the other is winding down. The status of the United States as the world’s preeminent economic and military power is unchallenged.

Last week’s announcement that the U.S.economy grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter was stunning. That news was followed by the October employment numbers, which were also promising: a total of 204,000 new jobs. The federal deficit for fiscal 2013 was just $680 billion. That sounds like a lot of money — all right, it is a lot of money — but it’s an incredible 37 percent less than the deficit for fiscal 2012.

If you listen to President Obama’s critics, especially his Republican adversaries on Capitol Hill, you’d think the economy was wheezing its last gasps. But investors obviously disagree, since the Dow closed Monday at a record high — and has nearly doubled since Obama took office. Put simply, money talks. 

More here

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President Obama signs the Tribal Law and Order Act joined by congressional and tribal leaders at a bill signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington on July 29, 2010

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ABC: Tribal Leaders Thank Obama For Redskins Comments

Native American leaders used a meeting at the White House on Tuesday to thank President Barack Obama for wading into the controversy over the Washington Redskins team name and voicing his concern that the nickname was offensive.

Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation, which has led efforts to get the National Football League team to change its name, thanked the president for speaking out. Other tribal leaders responded with applause during the meeting in the Roosevelt Room.

In an October interview with The Associated Press, Obama said that if he owned the Redskins he would consider changing the name. He said that while fans get attached to nicknames, nostalgia isn’t a good enough reason to keep a name that offends “a sizable group of people.”

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Ta-Nehisi Coates: Richard Cohen In Context

The problem is that Richard Cohen thinks being repulsed isn’t actually racist, but  “conventional” or “culturally conservative.” Obstructing the right of black humans and white humans to form families is a central feature of American racism. If retching at the thought of that right being exercised isn’t racism, then there is no racism.

Context can not improve this. “Context” is not a safe-word that makes all your other horse-shit statements disappear. And horse-shit is the context in which Richard Cohen has, for all these years, wallowed. It is horse-shit to claim that store owners are right to discriminate against black males. It is horse-shit to claim that Trayvon Martin was wearing the uniform of criminals. It is horse-shit to subject your young female co-workers  to “a hostile work environment.”It is horse-shit to expend precious news-print lamenting the days when slovenly old dudes had their pick of 20-year old women. It is horse-shit to defend a rapist on the run because you like “The Pianist.”

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E.J. Dionne: What’s The Matter With Motherhood?

If you’re a conservative strongly opposed to abortion, shouldn’t you want to give all the help you can to women who want to bring their children into the world? In particular, wouldn’t you hope they’d get the proper medical attention during and after their pregnancy? This would seem a safe assumption, which is why it ought to be astonishing that conservatives are positively obsessed with trashing the Affordable Care Act’s regulation requiring insurance policies to include maternity coverage.

Never mind that we who are lucky enough to have health insurance end up paying to cover conditions we may never suffer ourselves. We all want to avoid cancer, but we don’t begrudge those who do get it when the premiums we pay into our shared insurance pools help them receive care.

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Steve Benen: Dem appears to prevail in Virginia

A week after the 2013 elections, there’s one incredibly close race the political world is watching with great interest: who’ll be Virginia’s new state attorney general?

The vote-counting process ended last night, and as the dust settled, Democrat Mark Herring finished with 163 more votes than Republican Mark Obenshain – out of more than 2.2 million votes cast. Overnight, Herring declared victory.

So, is that it? Of course not. Given the margin, Obenshain has not conceded the race – it stands to reason that if the roles were reversed, Herring wouldn’t concede, either – and a statewide recount is probably inevitable. That, however, can’t begin until these preliminary tallies are certified, and that won’t happen until Nov. 25.

More here

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A Year Ago This Week:

Chicago Tonight, November, 2000:

See the full show here

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MoooOOOooorning – and thank you again to the Miiiiiighty UT for all the newsie links help!

05
Dec
12

A little bit of this, but not much of that

President Barack Obama returns to the White House following the Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Thursday:

5:05: The First Family attends the National Christmas Tree Lighting

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President Obama hugs Brian Cladoosby, President and Chairman of the Swinomish Nation, as he arrives at the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Interior Department in Washington, December 5

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‘Barack Black Eagle: He Who Helps People Throughout the Land’ (Link)

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Hey, this pic can never be posted enough …. the look PBO gave Scott Walker at the White House yesterday. #Win

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Completely random pics:

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Completely random videos:

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Whaddya mean it’s obvious this post was a rush job when it contains absolutely no news, only a few pics and videos. Well. :???:

Will catch up with the news in the morning. Promise. Ish.

05
Dec
12

This and That – and a Heads Up

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Coverage of the closing session has started at White House live, so just in case PBO starts early …..

White House live * CBS * CNN

Updated with video – see above!

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LA Times

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President Obama speaks at the Business Roundtable while Boeing Chief Executive Officer James McNerney listens, December 5

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More later.




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